Dave Somerville left both The Diamonds and Mercury Records in the fall of 1961 to pursue a solo career. He invoked his middle name and performed as David Troy for the next couple of years - mainly performing folk music.
Dave's replacement was fellow Canadian Jim Malone, who had previously performed as part of the successful"Blue Tones" - a Canadian rock and roll outfit that had a medium sized hit with "Shake Shake" in 1957. Jim was now the eighth diamond to come on board and his arrival meant that the group who had recorded "Why do Fools Fall in Love?" back in '56 had been completely replaced - although Mike Douglas who sang in the original group of pre-Mercury Diamonds was there.
Jim joined The Diamonds just prior to the expiry of the Mercury records contract, and did manage to squeeze in a couple of recording sessions. In 1962 The Diamonds sang the themesong for the movie The Horizontal Lieutenant - a military comedy starring Jim Hutton. The record was released as a single (c/w The Vanishing American) but was not a chart hit. The Diamonds recorded the tracks for the single in Hollywood, and Mike Douglas recalls the seemingly endless rehearsals for the song - a novelty uptempo march ("Hup two three Four......who's the guy that girls adore?.....the horizontal lieutenant!"). Mike also remembers Jim Malone lying in bed asleep at the hotel room after the session - when suddenly Jim awoke with a jolt and sat bolt upright chanting "Hup two three four....son of a bitch! son of a bitch! Hup two three four etc".
Jim also sang lead on The Diamonds version of The Impalas Sorry ( I ran all the way home), but to date, this track remains unreleased.
1963 saw the release of a "live" album and a single - on Nat Goodman's Three Speed Records. "The Slide" c/w "Melody of Love" combined a square dance flavoured rocker with a mellow ballad while the album - entitled "Laughs Laughs Singing Laughs..." contained an eclectic mix of rockers (Mr Bass Man), ballads ("Ol' Man River) and comedy routines (Little Nell). These records were sold at the Diamonds live shows and received little, if any, radio promotion or distribution. The team of Douglas, Felten, Fisher and Malone continued until late 1965, when the group underwent a further change in personnel.
The Diamonds with Rocky Marciano. Left to right; Mike, Rocky, John, Evan and Jim
The Diamonds on stage 1963
1963 publicity shotPublicity shot of The Diamonds to reflect their comedy routines